Mazda keeps hitting all the right notes with MX-5

Mazda keeps hitting all the right notes with MX-5Every now and then, carmakers get it right. They come up with a model that’s well designed, well engineered, affordable, driveable and reliable. Models like the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Mazda 5, Porsche Boxster and, if you go back in time, the BMW 2002 and E30, Volvo 240, MGB, Volkswagen Beetle, Jaguar E-Type and so…

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRD

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRDFor the past four decades or so, the two top-selling sedans in Canada have been the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, not necessarily in that order. Not hard to see why. They’re both comfortable, competitively priced and – most importantly – reliable people carriers. They may not always get the blood pumping, but they do…

The 2020 Nissan Sentra offers no-nonsense value

The 2020 Nissan Sentra offers no-nonsense valueAutomobile manufacturers have pretty much mastered the art of building cars. Some 125 years on, today’s breed of automobile is safer, more powerful, thriftier, more comfortable and more reliable than ever. Things like climate control, heated/ventilated seats, satellite radio, accident alert warning systems, anti-locking brakes, hybrid drivetrains, etc., etc., have made driving more palatable than…

Nissan Leaf an ideal battery-powered city vehicle

But range anxiety remains an issue if you want to use this electric car for longer trips

Nissan Leaf an ideal battery-powered city vehicleIn California, they recently introduced an amendment that will make it illegal to sell or purchase new fossil-fuel-powered automobiles after 2035. You will apparently still be able to buy a used gas-powered car, but in California the writing is on the wall when it comes to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Battery-powered cars are certainly…

Small irritants combine to spoil Infiniti QX50

This mid-size SUV spoils the driving experience with too many convenience features that only serve to irritate – and bump up the price

Small irritants combine to spoil Infiniti QX50The well-known phrase “leave well enough alone” is something carmakers should take to heart. We could throw in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” while we’re at it. But either way, it seems automobile manufacturers are incorporating more and more features and designs of questionable value – or no value at all – into…

Toyota Tundra offers muscles and manners

The engine is one of the most responsive yet well-behaved power plants in this market. Remarkably powerful, yet docile in the city

Toyota Tundra offers muscles and mannersIf I was a traffic cop and I wanted to make city roads safer and fulfil my ticket quota, one of the first things I’d do is pull over every full-size pickup truck that crosses my path. That would be especially true of the jacked-up, fat-tired, lift-kit behemoths that seem to be piloted by testosterone-addled…

Ford Ranger returns to fill pickup gap

With a starting price of just over $39,000 and a glitzy paint job, I’d think twice about putting this truck through its paces in the boonies

Ford Ranger returns to fill pickup gapCanadians love their pickup trucks. Out of the 10 top-selling vehicles in Canada, four are full-size pickup trucks:  Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram Truck and Ford F-150. And the F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle, period, in Canada for at least the last decade. It outsells perennial favourites like the Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra…

Lincoln Aviator offers plenty of style and luxury

In every respect, the 2020 Aviator is truly a luxury vehicle. Ford hasn’t missed much when it comes to pampering its occupants

Lincoln Aviator offers plenty of style and luxuryMuch like General Motors with its Cadillac division, Ford has decided to funnel a substantial portion of its resources into its flagship Lincoln line. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a kind of renaissance from this previously low-key marque. Lincoln has six models in its lineup, four of which are SUVs. Clearly, the powers…

Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own good

Fussy controls and bad ergonomics take away from an attractive car that should just be a pleasure to drive

Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own goodSometimes it seems car manufacturers are rolling backwards when it comes to usability and driver friendliness. Despite – or maybe because of – things like touch screen controls, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), driver-vehicle interface, climate control, etc., etc., some cars are nowhere as driveable as they used to be. No argument, automobiles are more sophisticated…

Lincoln Corsair dripping with luxury features

Lincoln Corsair dripping with luxury featuresThings have definitely changed in the car industry over the past decade. Especially with domestic manufacturers.  What was known as The Big Three – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – pretty much owned the car industry in North America right up to the early 1980s and had an iron grip on most buyers’ affections. But that…

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatile

This sport cute may be a little shy on power but it’s a pleasure to drive as an urban runabout

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatileFor the first time in a long while, I went to a social event last week. Just a few people getting together to play a little music and socially un-distance for a while. It was all COVID-19-proof, of course, and a good time was had by all. But what struck me as I pulled up…

Trends and new products as car industry sits in neutral

Trends and new products as car industry sits in neutralUsually car manufacturers are falling over themselves at this time of year, introducing new models, debuting industry updates, unveiling new technology, providing new vehicle test drives and so on. It’s also traditionally when auto scribes start attending various new car launches and industry events, and filing update stories. But with COVID-19, social distancing and all…

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a need

As you would expect from any Toyota, the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid is very driver-accessible and immensely driveable

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a needHybrid engineering, once thought to be bridge technology, is stronger than ever. Sometimes it seems every other vehicle on the road is a hybrid of some kind. And this includes SUVS – virtually all the major carmakers have something on offer. Volvo XC90, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Kona, Ford Escape, Subaru Crosstrek and others are available…

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid pack

This car is all about practicality and common sense. Toyota is on top of its game when it comes to hybrid technology

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid packToyoto Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle – by a long shot. This is the hybrid against which all others are judged. Its hybrid drive system is used by Toyota and Lexus throughout their lineups, as well as used under licence by other manufacturers worldwide. Well over six million Toyota Prius units have gone…

Hyundai Palisade makes no wrong turns

The 2020 version does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s comfortable, roomy, powerful, easy to drive and pleasant to look at

Hyundai Palisade makes no wrong turnsSometimes, going with the flow is the best course of action. Not making waves, being consistent and taking your cues from those around you. That strategy has certainly served Hyundai well over the years. Going right back to the 1980s-era Pony, the South Korean company has kept a sharp eye on industry front-runners and built…